Entrepreneurs Discover Over $4 Billion in Federal Funding Opportunities as America’s Seed Fund Road Tour Visits Florida

January 30 | news

U.S. Small Business Administration and Florida High Tech Corridor Host Representatives from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and More to Help Entrepreneurs Secure Non-Dilutive, Early-Stage Funding

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 30, 2024) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is partnering with the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) to bring its America’s Seed Fund 2024 Road Tour to Florida Wednesday, Feb. 7, as the first stop of a 16-stop national tour that will connect entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding.

Also known as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, America’s Seed Fund focuses on the next generation of research and development (R&D) through 11 participating federal agencies. The program executes over 6,000 new funding awards totaling more than $4 billion annually, which allow innovators to advance new technologies and have contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs.

About the Road Tour Event

America’s Seed Fund Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and building greater networks to support the small businesses focusing on high-impact research.

Over 250 people are registered to attend the Florida event at the Central Florida Tech Grove in Orlando, Florida, where entrepreneurs can meet one-on-one with agency representatives and attend a series of panel discussions to gain insight about SBIR/STTR technology focus areas and how agencies make funding decisions. Representatives from entrepreneurial support organizations are also attending to learn how they can better serve Florida’s small businesses.

“SBIR/STTR programs create transformative opportunities for innovative businesses in our region and across the state,” said The Corridor CEO Paul Sohl. “We are honored to represent Florida for this stop on the Road Tour and excited to continue our partnership with the SBA. Together, we are making sure even more Florida companies are aware of and prepared to secure critical early-stage funding.”

SBIR/STTR Support for Florida Entrepreneurs

Overall, innovative small businesses in The Corridor’s 23-county region have earned more than $389 million in SBIR/STTR funding since 2017. The Corridor aims to increase both the amount invested in the region and the number of first-time SBIR/STTR awardees from Central Florida. The Corridor is committed to providing related training and resources for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support organizations statewide.

In 2022, through the SBA’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, The Corridor established Florida’s first centralized support system for companies pursuing SBIR/STTR awards. Through free webinars, agency-specific application cohorts, one-on-one coaching and other educational resources, the initiative has educated multiple small businesses and helped them win funding, including:

  • Silicon Assurance, a Gainesville-based company, won $907,000 to develop technologies that help customers evaluate and protect their vital silicon chips.
  • CryptoTutors, an Orlando-based company, earned a $275,000 SBIR award from the National Science Foundation to develop career assessment technology which empowers post-secondary students to identify opportunities for careers involving blockchain.
  • Improving Aviation, a Tampa-based company, won a Phase II award from NASA to develop drone technology that assists first responders in firefighting operations.

In 2021, the SBA also selected a multi-institutional collaboration led by The Corridor among eight winners of its first SBIR Catalyst Competition established to recognize model partnerships addressing the gaps for underrepresented entrepreneurs nationwide.

Learn more about The Corridor’s SBIR/STTR support programs at https://floridahightech.com/innovation-investments/sbir-sttr-support/.

For more information about America’s Seed Fund, visit www.sbir.gov.

About the Florida High Tech Corridor:
The Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) is an initiative of three research universities – the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida – created to catalyze an ecosystem that supports the needs and aspirations of innovators who are driving high-tech economic growth in a 23-county region. The Corridor galvanizes a network of economic developers, academic researchers, elected officials and others to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses, helps businesses navigate available resources and provides direct support through several programs: the Cenfluence industry clustering initiative, matching grants for university research partnerships, and education and coaching for businesses pursuing federal research awards. Connect with The Corridor on LinkedInFacebook and X (formerly Twitter). Learn more at floridahightech.com and subscribe to our newsletter.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration:
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.